And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #125: Brian May v badger hater David Cameron

By | Published on Friday 31 August 2012

Brian May

Brian May has called on the government to cancel a planned badger cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset. Or rather, he has called on people (specifically Daily Mail readers, but whatever) to call on the government to stop it. Because, says May, “David Cameron leads a new generation of Tories hell-bent on bringing back bloodsports … There is nobody in our government who represents the interests of wild animals”. And one rockstar alone isn’t going to be able to change their mind.

In an opinion piece for the Mail, May said: “In probably less than a month’s time, Cameron’s government plans to start killing thousands of badgers, a protected species, in ‘pilot’ culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset. The lucky ones will die quickly. Others, targeted by high-powered rifles on night shoots, will be maimed or wounded to crawl away to a slow, painful death”.

He continued: “Badgers matter. They are a key species, an intrinsic element in our delicate ecosystem. Their removal would have as yet poorly understood consequences for other species such as hares, foxes and hedgehogs … They are also highly intelligent, sentient creatures. So why the cull? It is being pursued on the pretext of ‘doing something’ about the problem of bovine TB. Yet that ‘something’ is immoral, demonstrably unjustifiable by science, and will ultimately cost the farmer, and you – the taxpayer – a fortune”.

Brian knows his audience, clearly. Animal cruelty might not interest Daily Mail readers, but the possibility of their hard earned taxes going astray will.

The National Farmers Union – an organisation which May says in his article “admits killing badgers on this scale will not solve the problem” – has objected to May’s comments. Ian Johnson, spokesman for the NFU in the South West told This Is Cornwall: “This is not political – this is an animal welfare issue and he should not be politicising the problem. Brian May is a well-intentioned, very rich misguided person. If he wants to get involved in animal welfare he should be getting involved with the scourge of TB that affects not just cattle but other species too. His comments do nothing to help a rational debate about the problem … He’s obviously a very intelligent man so I can’t understand why he’s involving himself with issues he does not understand”.

According to Farmers Weekly, the Badgers Trust has been granted the right to appeal against the culls at a hearing next month, which will delay the culls at least until later this year.

Badgers Trust spokeman Jack Reedy said: “The court will look at the evidence and the judge will decide whether to uphold the decision to cull badgers or not. We will abide by whatever they say, but consider the terms [of the decision] if we need to”.